Interestingly there is seldom consensus among leadership on what their brand stands for. One of the first questions that we ask clients is what they believe their brand stands for. Without exception, we get as many different responses as the number of people we ask. And this is typical. Several bodies of research have also shown that most employees couldn’t answer what their company stands for, its values, or even its competitive distinction.
“61% don’t know their company’s mission and if they did, 57% are not motivated by it.“
To Know is to Engage and to Engage is to Succeed
Why does it matter? Employees who know what their company stands for are far more likely to understand what they need to do to live out the company mission and vision. This naturally creates a deeper and more meaningful engagement and commitment to what the company does. This alignment translates to success. According to a Gallup study, “highly engaged organizations have double the rate of success of lower engaged organizations — and average 22% higher productivity.”
Companies who know what they stand for are better equipped to build, guide their business and meet their performance objectives.
“Apple ranked №1 according to Forbes’ ranking of “most valuable brands” while, at the same time, it ranked №1 in a 2016 global public perception study.”
Reinforce Differentiating Perceptions
While not exactly proof positive that there is a direct correlation between brand value and perception, it does suggest there is a strong relationship. Knowing who you are as an organization does provide a guide for reinforcing perceptions that support what you stand for. In the case of Apple, their perceptual strengths included purpose, innovation, individuality, and authenticity, all of which are embedded in their Vision statement.
Creating a clear definition of your brand is essential in understanding what your brand stands for and how it is uniquely different. Just defining the strategic foundation of a brand in terms of vision, mission and values are not enough. Of equal importance is defining the strategic expression — the brand proposition, brand promise, and brand attributes. It is this strategic expression that shapes the brand experience — what it looks like, sounds like, and how it behaves.
It is the internal understanding and commitment to the brand that drives the external perceptions which, if aligned, lead to brand loyalty and brand value.
How Brand Works is knowing what your brand stands for. Do you know what your brand stands for?